#GivingTuesday Headed Toward $120 Million

December 2, 2015       Mark Hrywna      

(Updated at 3:30 p.m. ET)

Charitable contributions made on #GivingTuesday donations surpassed $117 million this year, according to preliminary estimates, but could go even higher as more donations are calculated today.

The donation processing firms surveyed so far by The NonProfit Times that have preliminary estimates show more than $67 million so far:

Calculations so far by The NonProfit Times put overall giving at least $117.1 million during the fourth annual 24-hour day of giving, though there is some inconsistency among. The Blackbaud number, which is exclusively U.S. donations, blows by its 2014 number of $26.1 million. PayPal, which reported $8.6 million in contributions in North America last year, reported $45.8 million worldwide yesterday. There also may be some overlap in the two firms numbers as some of Blackbaud’s technology offers PayPal as a payment method, according to Steve MacLaughlin, director of analytics. The NonProfit Times last year estimated contributions on #GivingTuesday 2014 eclipsed $50 million, based on a survey of various firms that process donations.

While nonprofits employed strategies such as matching gifts to stoke giving, firms also tried to encourage more giving. Blackbaud waived administrative fees for any U.S. donations made through its consumer crowdfunding platform, Everyday Hero. Typically, the platform takes a 5 percent service fee on donations plus a process fee of 2.9 percent and $0.30 per transaction, which would amount to $4.25 on a $50 donation. San Diego-based Classy also waived transaction fees while PayPal matched 1 percent of all donations of more than $10.

PayPal processed $45,830,714 in payments on Tuesday, setting a new Guinness World Record for the most amount of money donated online within 24 hours. The previous record was $19 million facilitated by BT, a United Kingdom telecom company, after the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

“The purpose of this is to win accolades for #GivingTuesday,” Clam Lorenz, general manager of social innovation at PayPal, said on Tuesday. “We’re contributing in a small way to that. We’re looking for $20 million and to claim [the record] on behalf of #GivingTuesday.”

Going from $8.6 million to $45.8 million required a three-pronged approach, according to Lorenz. First, PayPal was able to calculate the total number of donations made through its platform from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. this year as opposed to a limited number of North American charities tabulated in 2014. Second, PayPal beat the drum in the pursuit of the record. Finally, PayPal targeted marketing efforts toward giving. Emails were sent to 50 million U.S. users on Tuesday morning, encouraging them to give. Banners promoting giving were placed on the main pages of PayPal sites in the U.K., Australia, Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Singapore and Spain, Lorenz said.

Online giving was up more than 100 percent from last year for DonorPerfect, almost 60 percent for Razoo, and 52 percent for Blackbaud.

Mobile giving figures to be more prominent this year with about one in five donations made via a mobile device. DonorPerfect reported that 35 percent of online donations were made from a mobile device so far while Classy reported 23 percent, and Razoo said more than 18 percent of donations came via mobile. More than a quarter of donations via mobile to FrontStream were made from an iPhone, iPad or Samsung Galaxy. The average donation for FrontStream was $117; for mobile specifically, it was $94.

For FrontStream, 28 percent of donations were via Facebook, including half from Facebook mobile, where the average donation was $64. Less than 1 percent of donations were referred through Twitter, where the average donation was $41.

DonorPerfect finished this #GivingTuesday with $14,906,357.23 from 68,426 donations. Online giving accounted for 19.7 percent of all donations and 15.8 percent of all dollars collected. On average, online giving accounts for about 6 percent of total gifts, according to Jon Biedermann, vice president.

Biedermann did not disclose DonorPerfect’s total 2014 number due to an anomaly found in the data. Other 2015 figures of note include:

  • The average online gift increased by 29 percent as compared to last year, up to $174.83.
  • Mobile devices accounted for 35 percent of online donations, up from 30 percent in 2014, 24 percent in 2013 and 14 percent in 2012.
  • Non-online giving accounted for DonorPerfect’s largest, $800,000, and smallest, $0.01, donations of #GivingTuesday. The average non-online donation was $228.43.

Biedermann said that, despite perception, mobile devices have yet to overtake the bulk of online giving due to a lack of comfort among donors in handling finances on a mobile phone and that the average donor is closer to 70-years-old than Millennial aged. With many potential donors still unaware of #GivingTuesday, there is plenty of room to grow Biedermann said. “It’s clear that we see this continuing to grow,” Biedermann said. “For our clients, the adoption of #GivingTuesday will continue to grow as people see the increases in both real dollars, average gift size and total donor participation…We’re nowhere near the tipping point.”